×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ouya Developers Share Their Experiences

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the what-do-you-think dept.

Android 88

RogueyWon writes "Four months after the launch of the Ouya micro-console, Gamasutra has pulled together a round up of the experiences of indie developers who have brought their games to the platform. There's both positive and negative news; developers seem to like the ease of porting to the platform, but have concerns regarding the approach that its marketplace takes. Perhaps most crucially, sales of games on the platform are far from stellar."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

88 comments

I have one thing to say about this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232179)

Ooooooooooooooouuuuuuuyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232189)

I think Ouya would have been fine if it weren't for steambox. But I think Microsoft AND Electronic Arts are also jumping into the market. Jeeze, couldn't keep it simple right? Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft? Nope! Now, you have a lot of systems to choose from. Our team is developing for the Steam platform initially and may move on and try PS4 but unlikely. Ouya isn't even on the radar, which I can see why it should be, but.... We all own a PC so why own a Ouya? Steambox is different and the steam controller just about sells itself IMO but in the end, Ouya has almost no support, the kind of games on there is like going through a list of games during the lundum dare competitions and how many here can honestly say they knew that the Ouya console had been out for over 4-months now?

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45232239)

Steambox and Ouya address fairly different markets. Steambox approaches the console niche from above, Ouya from below. I think those little TV games boxes will be safe from competitors for a while unless Sony gets serious about its Vita TV. Of course that's ignoring the issue of whether there's enough of a market or development community for these devices in the first place.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232367)

Since the Ouya is approximately as powerful as the PS2, that would be their market.

Unfortunately for the Ouya, the PS2 has a huge library of excellent games, and most people who want a PS2 own one already. Also, the PS2 is 13 years old ...

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232397)

Very much so, and people still develop games for the PS2 in Japan at the very least. Heh, remember when nuclear warheads were guided by PS2 processors? Oh the good old days... hahaha

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45232587)

Exactly, it's a play for the low end of the console market but Sony has the "last generation's model" incumbent advantage.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 5 months ago | (#45232429)

"I think Ouya would have been fine if it weren't for steam box."

I think both platforms are doomed. I already have a perfectly good platform for playing all of these games. I can't imagine anything less interesting to me that playing those games on my television. Add in crappier controllers, the lack of any other platform content, and that I have to pay for the privilege?

I don't think I'm alone in my total lack of enthusiasm. I'm finding it difficult to justify upgrading the PS3, which spends the vast majority of its time turned off.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

somersault (912633) | about 5 months ago | (#45232463)

I can't imagine anything less interesting to me that playing those games on my television.

Have you imagined sitting in front of your TV with it turned off?

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (4, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 5 months ago | (#45232507)

I can't imagine anything less interesting to me that playing those games on my television.

Have you imagined sitting in front of your TV with it turned off?

With your kids, and hitting them?

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 5 months ago | (#45232599)


http://s3.amazonaws.com/bonanzleimages/afu/images/0341/8013/100_4205.jpg

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 5 months ago | (#45232963)

> Have you imagined sitting in front of your TV with it turned off?

All the time. I call it "reading in the comfy chair". And yes, it's far more interesting that playing Steam games on my TV. For instance, I'm currently about 2/3rds of the way through "Physics on the Fringe", which is highly entertaining.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

somersault (912633) | about 5 months ago | (#45233537)

I still find it weird that the games you've chosen to pay for suddenly become the most boring thing in the world when moved onto a large screen. I don't find my HDTV has that effect at all. Or perhaps I should just give in to the use of hyperbole.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45237487)

I'm glad I have a gaming laptop. I can easily move it from my office to the television in the living room whenever I feel like it. I just set up a TV tray for a keyboard and mouse or plug in my Xbox 360 controller and I have instant, way better than console, quality gaming.

Then again, my office has a projector set up to throw a 200" image. That's a lot better than my 60" HDTV.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45240191)

I just set up a TV tray for a keyboard and mouse or plug in my Xbox 360 controller

Can you set it up so player one uses mouse and keyboard and player two uses the controller?

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243421)

Can you set it up so player one uses mouse and keyboard and player two uses the controller?

No reason i couldn't. No real reason I want to though.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45244307)

Can you set it up so player one uses mouse and keyboard and player two uses the controller?

you do realize that this is less and less a popular option on console games, right? they want us all to have our own console and our own console account, etc etc

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#45244873)

you do realize that this is less and less a popular option on console games, right?

True, I was disappointed when Animal Crossing: City Folk lacked split-screen despite the Wii having 8 times the clock speed power of the Nintendo 64 console for which the first Doubutsu no Mori game was released. And reviewers chastised The Conduit for having a short single-player campaign because they had no chance to test its online-only multiplayer before the servers opened up. But the Call of Duty series still supported two-player split-screen the last time I checked my cousin's Xbox 360, and fighting games will always allow two (Street Fighter series) to four (Super Smash Bros. series) players because fighting games don't have to split the screen. Even if it's "less and less", has it still become as unpopular as on PC?

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45232633)

Valve already has PC gamers on board. The Steambox isn't for them, by and large.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (2, Interesting)

bfandreas (603438) | about 5 months ago | (#45232747)

Steambox is a very interesting thing. At the moment I have my PC hooked up to my TV and play in Steam Big Picture mode. But having my PC in my living room is not sustainable because it makes too much noise. Funnily I never thought so in my old flat where I kept it in my study. If they manage to keep the noise down with reasonably powerful results and they manage to keep the price down by skipping the Windows license then the Steam Box is very much in the market.
If you play a lot of games then a console is the very last thing you want to buy. I just got an alert for Mass Effect 1 and 2 being on sale for less than a pack of cigarettes. You will never get games as cheaply on a console.

Which takes us straight to the Ouya. On the cheap games front the Ouya competes with the PC(SteamBox) and loses out on every aspect. Except on price. I will keep buying Ouyas because frankly it is a great idea with two major flaws: it takes a lot more experience to build a proper controller and their business model is too much a hurdle for straight ports.

So yes, I agree with the GP.

Doom (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45233831)

[OUYA's] business model is too much a hurdle for straight ports.

What did you mean by this? If you're referring to the requirement that all games have some free-to-play functionality, consider 1990s shareware games like Doom. Its first episode was free (as in beer).

Re:Doom (1, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | about 5 months ago | (#45236401)

[OUYA's] business model is too much a hurdle for straight ports.

What did you mean by this? If you're referring to the requirement that all games have some free-to-play functionality, consider 1990s shareware games like Doom. Its first episode was free (as in beer).

I am referring directly to something a dev said in TFA. The games need a free portion. Be it a playable demo(which has seriously fallen out of fashion), a f2p model(which may also not be there to begin with) or a paywall somewhere along the line.
If you simply had designed the game as a straight-forward indie title to be sold cheaply then you won't meet the Ouya criteria by a simple port. You will have to introduce them. And given the cost/effort benefits whne you just about make a profit on a straight port you will not want to do any of the above.

The Ouya rules are highly problematic.

Add a Buy Now button (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45238889)

I'll address one specific frustration about the free demo that I saw in the Gamasutra article:

I want to find a game I like and pay for it. I don't like being forced to play it up to the pay wall or demo end to find out what they are asking for it.

Such a UI issue is up to a game's developer to solve. A smart developer would list the total price of all "entitlements" (paywalls) in the game's description: "First mission free; rest of game for $3.99." Then the game's main menu would have a button below "Play" to buy all remaining entitlements: "Buy Now ($3.99)". What in the rules prohibits being up front about this?

Re:Add a Buy Now button (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 5 months ago | (#45239603)

Not all games are this easy to do this for.

Imagine trying to make a "demo" for something like The Stanley Parable, or Journey, or Gone Home. Even games such as Counter-Strike would have a strange demo, or Mario Party. When do you stop the user? How much do you let the play before asking for money?

Nothing is stopping people from putting a big "buy" button on the first screen, but not all games are easily sliced up into individual levels.

Re:Add a Buy Now button (1)

meza (414214) | about 5 months ago | (#45240303)

One simple mechanic that some Ouya games use is that you can only play for a limited time every day, say 10-20 minutes. That works very well for puzzle games or games like Counter Strike. A short story based game where someone might simply play through the story in small pieces, 10 minutes a day, could maybe be limited by a total ever play time. So from the first time you install it you can only play x minutes (enough to get through max a 1/4 of the game or so)

Re:Add a Buy Now button (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45242885)

Not all games lend themselves easily to a demo. Also the current trope is that demos actually cost sales and that that money is better spent on marketing. I don't really follow that kind of reasoning myself but suffice to say downloadable playable demos are hugely unpopular with AAA studios and devs for whatever reason.
Demos take time and money to create. And they need to run on your potential buyer's machine without any issue. I can remember a couple of demos in the 90ies which I couldn't get to run yet the game ran perfectly. Also the time and resources spent building a demo can be used to start on that expansion/DLC and get all the things into your game that you had to triage out. If I were a dev that's what I'd rather do.

From a customer's point of view I can't say I'm too interested in demos either. I wait for the reviews to come in(RPS and John Bain mainly), watch a couple of YT videos or simply unthinkingly pick the game up on some Steam sale for a few quid and play it whenever.

Forces HDCP on developers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#45244113)

watch a couple of YT videos

That's an area where I admit OUYA failed. Its only video output is HDMI with HDCP that a game's developer doesn't appear to be able to turn off.

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45244263)

watch a couple of YT videos

That's an area where I admit OUYA failed. Its only video output is HDMI with HDCP that a game's developer doesn't appear to be able to turn off.

Oh, the Ouya is brilliant. They use abundantly available and established stock electronics. The development tools are free and also established. IMHO they underestimated the effect of their "game needs to be partially free" rule and their decision to design their own controller is outright idiotic. Designing something like a controller has to be the master discipline of consumer electronics. I would have tried for a 70$ price point and bundled it with something reasonable. A partnership with Logitec, Razer, whatever would have been much, much better.
Otherwise the Ouya is something so obvious it had to be done.

IMO if they manage to stay afloat for the next couple of years they are onto something. I wouldn't be surprised if they moved into providing components for smart TVs and sell their platform to be integrated by the likes of Toshiba, Acer and the rest of them. It makes no sense they build their own stuff. Especially with the slim profits they have. Also I really, really hope they are in serious talks with nVidia. Given that Tegra3 does support that nVidia 3D trick(but only at 720p) I do see real potential here.

My Toshiba TV set doesn't do anything that wouldn't be better if it were done properly based on Ouya tech. Toshiba Places has to be the silliest thing ever to develop yourself. It's expensive and by no means a selling point.

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45245157)

I would have tried for a 70$ price point and bundled it with something reasonable. A partnership with Logitec, Razer, whatever would have been much, much better.

I agree with your second point, but not the first. There's no way they could hit $70 with a bundled controller. Seen the price for Project Mojo? Two-fiddy. Granted, that's the next-generation processor, but seriously. That's two and a half times the price of the Ouya. A complete wood-killer.

I think a better option would have been to offer the console without a bundled controller, for $80, and get PS3 controller support right. It was flaky and not supported by all games. But the PS3 controller actually has more capabilities than the Ouya controller, which is just another reason they should have said "what the fuck are we doing here" long before even building a prototype controller. Also partnering with someone to deliver a slightly-restyled stock controller as an "official" Ouya controller would have been a genius move; putting both logos on the box face would provide credibility to both companies.

On the third hand, who do you suggest they actually partner with? If I were running any of those companies, I'd be working on my own Android console based on someone's reference design.

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45246033)

PS3 Controller already IS a proper Android controller. The support is really good. You plug it in via USB to pair it and the rest is done by Bluetooth.
Good games already support it. Measly iOS ports and Gameloft games struggle. There is no need for a dedicated "Android controller". USB BT HID does exist and is supported by Android. If you layer your game properly then you can support those on-screen-controls and HID properly. I'll mention Gameloft again since they are the worst offender in that area. Thankfully you can get your money back easily if you find you bought one of their half-assed games. Which is BTW what their support suggested. Controllers designed specifically for Android usually have size and form factor in mind since a proper sized controller(like the old XBox) are too bulky to carry around. USB/BT HID does the rest.

It could very well be that stock Android broke PS3 support a couple of versions ago but I had no problems on my TF201 on 4.0. I've rooted that thing ages ago. And another hurdle would be the shenanigans manufacturers play. Like the old Nexus 7 requiring a root to connect the controller via USB. But that's another story.

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45247693)

PS3 Controller already IS a proper Android controller.

no, it really isn't. It's not universally supported.

The support is really good.

no, it really isn't. It doesn't work on any Android after 4.1.1. It also dominates bluetooth, you can't use any other bluetooth peripheral at the same time. This is unacceptable.

You plug it in via USB to pair it and the rest is done by Bluetooth.

And then it doesn't work. I've had it work on GB and on one 4.1.1 build, and it fails everywhere else. I've used both the usual PS3 joystick app as well as USB/BT Joystick Center.

It could very well be that stock Android broke PS3 support a couple of versions ago but I had no problems on my TF201 on 4.0.

It's broken. So, it's broken.

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253841)

no, it really isn't. It doesn't work on any Android after 4.1.1. It also dominates bluetooth, you can't use any other bluetooth peripheral at the same time. This is unacceptable.

That's no excuse for building a completely new controller and software for it, just spend a fraction of that time improving/fixing support for the existing controller.

It could very well be that stock Android broke PS3 support a couple of versions ago but I had no problems on my TF201 on 4.0.

It's broken. So, it's broken.

Whoa hold up, it's broken, throw it away and start from scratch!

Re:Forces HDCP on developers (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45254123)

It's broken. So, it's broken.

Whoa hold up, it's broken, throw it away and start from scratch!

It's broken because Google threw bluetooth away and started from scratch. Well, kinda. Enough to break pretty much every bluetooth-related workaround used by anyone for anything tricky. And so the apps are also having to be thrown away, or at least, their magic parts.

In turn, bluetooth is broken because Google throws away the progress made in recent versions of BlueZ. There's support for the PS3 BD Remote in there, the PS3 controllers, Wiimotes, and other good stuff. None of which can be used with Android post-4.1.1.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45234823)

You can buy games that cheaply on a console right now, in the form of physical disks. If (as is expected) they start to go all-digital, similar pricing will come across.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45235729)

But having my PC in my living room is not sustainable because it makes too much noise.
I know what you mean. My wife has been a lot quieter, though, after I demonstrated all the things she can now do from the sofa.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 months ago | (#45232967)

Personally, I think we would all be better off if someone just focused on developing a standard controller, like the Steam controller, or just tell everyone to use a dual shock (which i hate) or the XBox controller and we just stuck with stock Android for playing games. There's already tons of Android TV sticks and boxes that are perfectly capable of playing games. Ouya didn't need to invent another system box, they already had tons of those. And the controller is really nothing special.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45248131)

The sad thing is, this is something the Ouya was supposed to provide. You were supposed to be able to use your wired 360 controller, wireless 360 controller with the PC adapter dongle or a compatible dongle, a PS3 controller, the Ouya controller, or any mix thereof. And it sort of worked; for some reason, though, it didn't really. The idea was that the Ouya controller API would abstract away all the differences.

What worked is that all the controllers would actually connect and be recognized as controllers. But as I've mentioned elsewhere, any bluetooth input device was also recognized as a controller, even if it reported itself as a HID keyboard. That meant that my PS3 BD Remote (which I got mapped on one version of the Ouya software) and my Keyboard would be controllers, so I could only have a maximum of two controllers mapped at the same time. And when the keyboard and controller both went to sleep, if I bumped a key on the keyboard before I touched a button on the controller then the keyboard would become controller #1, and no game which depended on an actual controller being controller #1 (most of them) would function. So actually, the ability to do precisely what you say was one of their primary selling points, and they failed completely to deliver on it.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45233015)

AFAIK, the steam box will be able to play any game that you can play on PC. At the very least, you can play every steam game on it. You seem to be under the impression that the number of games is small. Not only is there an explosion of indie games(the good, the bad, and the ugly...but they're all cheap), but there are major titles released through steam. There are even many older games offered through Steam, some of which were console games to start out...like Red Faction. I know Red Faction had a PC version anyway, but now it's on Steam as well. I happened to buy it when I was buying a pack of games for $54 one summer.

For people like me, who have hundreds of games on their Steam account...there is a definite attraction to the steam box. If you don't play a lot of games on Steam, and the offered games don't interest you, then the steam box isn't for you. You can say the exact same thing about any console.

Games not on Steam yet (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45233887)

AFAIK, the steam box will be able to play any game that you can play on PC.

The Steam Machine ships with SteamOS, a distribution of GNU/Linux. Support for games designed for Windows that do not work in Wine is unknown.

At the very least, you can play every steam game on it.

Does this include indie games currently sold outside of Steam that Valve happens not to have approved yet?

Spontaneous multiplayer (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45234035)

I can't imagine anything less interesting to me that playing those games on my television.

So when you already have friends over at your home [slashdot.org] , what do you drag out to do for fun? Taking turns in a single-player game on a desktop PC isn't very fun, and asking them to drive home and go get their gaming laptops isn't very practical. Playing games on a PC hooked up to a TV is much more spontaneous than a LAN party. Or would you claim that video games are for one player and tabletop games are for two to four [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Spontaneous multiplayer (1)

jemmyw (624065) | about 6 months ago | (#45243271)

So when you already have friends over at your home, what do you drag out to do for fun?

A bottle of wine

Re:Spontaneous multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243451)

So when you already have friends over at your home [slashdot.org] , what do you drag out to do for fun?

Booze up, build stuff, chat, or rip out the xbox. Frankly there aren't any decent local multiplayer games on PC to be worth using that anyway, theres no reason devs couldn't support multiple usb keyboards or existing wireless controllers but they don't because people don't want local multiplayer pc games.

Are games skipped *because* they're on PC? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#45244119)

Frankly there aren't any decent local multiplayer games on PC to be worth using that anyway

Other than these [co-optimus.com] ?

people don't want local multiplayer pc games.

Why don't they? Say someone finds out about a particular indie game. She visits the game's web site and sees "PC: Buy Now! Consoles: We are seeking a publisher to bring $TITLE to consoles." Is she interested, or does she think to herself "It's for PC? Too bad. I'll try something from a major studio instead."

Re:Are games skipped *because* they're on PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45253959)

Other than these [co-optimus.com] ?

yes, frankly when the list is about 20 games between 2001 and 2013 i think that is pretty safe to say.

Why don't they? Say someone finds out about a particular indie game. She visits the game's web site and sees "PC: Buy Now! Consoles: We are seeking a publisher to bring $TITLE to consoles." Is she interested, or does she think to herself "It's for PC? Too bad. I'll try something from a major studio instead."

because your hypothetical is just a hypothetical, nothing more. i could equally give you a counter example but there's no point since it too would be a hypothetical with no merit.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (4, Insightful)

aiadot (3055455) | about 5 months ago | (#45232431)

Steambox (and PC gaming) is it's own market. It has some overlap with the high-end game(PS4/XBone) consoles, but it has it's own perks, needs and expectations. Sure it technically can run anything, but gaming is much more than just running software.
Said that, the micro-console market is also it's own market, with a even more niche set of gimmicks, needs and expectations. Plus, on a pure hardware point of view, to compare a $900+ machine that needs both arms to be lifted against a $99 embedded device that fits on the palm of your hand is nonsense. Just because everybody owns a certain platform, that doesn't make support for that platform mandatory. Vision(and the guts to fight the odds and make it a reality) is more important and without it many business, including gaming business wouldn't exist. Said that, that is exactly where the problems with the OUYA begin: they don't have a vision. I could write pages pages on the problems associated with their strategy but just to expose the tip of the iceberg, marketing is nonexistent and support from firmware and network services to exclusives and first-party games is totally lacking. Consumer media devices, in particular gaming devices, just cannot live without those two things. And on top of that there is that PSVita TV, which is in the same price range, has similar hardware, but has much better software and the PlayStation brand behind it.

PC in one room and TV in another (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45233763)

We all own a PC so why own a Ouya?

Because the least common denominator has a PC is in one room and a TV in another. Some genres aren't well adapted to a desktop PC, especially those built around multiplayer with gamepads and one large screen.

Re:Steambox will murder it with steam sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45237315)

Ouya would have been better off if they'd waited for the Tegra 4 and built a better controller (ones where the buttons don't stick and that have a rechargeable battery pack).

Why Ouya is Doomed (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#45232219)

I got a preorder launch Ouya. It stunk on ice. Crash! Crash! Crash! And no support for any displays with anything other than VGA, 720p, or 1080p resolution, even though there is a scaler in there, but maybe that was just my pet issue. Thing is, for LOTS of people Ouya's output looks like poop on their device because Ouya wouldn't recognize their display resolution (loads of TVs don't actually use one of these resolutions as native, and even more monitors) and then it would render internally at 1080p, but scale the output down to VGA.

The way they have differentiated themselves from other devices is to have their own store. It stinks on ice, too. Maybe they've made some major improvements since I dropped mine, but you couldn't even see your download queue, which would clear itself under some mysterious but trivially accidentally replicable conditions. But the basic fundamental problem is that now that google has announced support for gaming, and Ouya is doing things their own way, they've segmented themselves out of the market. Meanwhile, everyone else's devices will have play store game support. This one reason is enough to doom Ouya.

Re:Why Ouya is Doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232343)

Other reasons:

It's underspecced and can't do anything different to your laptop or desktop PC.

It's shit.

Re:Why Ouya is Doomed (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#45233901)

It's underspecced and can't do anything different to your laptop or desktop PC.

If it worked, it would be an acceptable deal for $100.

It's shit.

That's why it's not an acceptable deal for $100.

Notably, the controller completely punts on handling touch. It doesn't even have gyros. It would have been better to punt on the controller, and work on making PS3 controllers work properly.

When I had my Ouya, a bluetooth keyboard would inevitably work its way towards being controller #1. Then you couldn't play any games until you unpaired the controller and the keyboard, and repaired the controller. And the PS3 controller support was spotty at best, as well. The launcher would crash, and games would crash, and games that were on the launch poster weren't launch titles, and and and. The most notable "and" is that the development was completely closed (in spite of the Ouya being billed as "Open") and users have to wait for updates.

I was and remain an outspoken supporter of the concept. It's too bad Ouya failed so hard to anticipate the future. If they had worked with Google to create a controller standard instead of striking out on their own, they might have secured a place for themselves in the Google Play gaming ecosystem.

Nothing in particular is stopping them from going that way, except perhaps competence. But if there is a sequel, I suppose it will tell.

I love my Ouya (3, Interesting)

meza (414214) | about 5 months ago | (#45237439)

Just to give a second oppinion I can say that I really enjoy my Ouya that I bought in August. I payed $149 (one extra controller) and honestly almost felt it was repaid after the first weekend of playing games and having a blast with my girlfriend (Hidden in plain sight, Bomb Squad, Suction co-op). And now that I've discovered XBMC and spend countless hours playing Nimble Quest and Knightmare Tower the cost is completely written off.

I really like the simpleness of most Ouya games. I just don't have the time to get into some long complicated game any more, so most new AAA titles don't attract me. But my previous console was a Super Nintendo, so my reference frame might be different from many hard-core gamers :) In contrast to many other commenters here I also like the fact that it has its own store. That means that all the games I find has been tuned to work for the hardware. If it used the Google Android app-store I imagine the titles that worked well would drown in all the games that didn't make any sense to run without a touch screen.

I have experienced some un-responsiveness with the controllers which went away after a reboot, but none of the other problems you describe. Maybe many of the issues that the Kickstarter supporters experienced in the beginning has been fixed providing me with a generally more positive experience. Also I just feel completely amazed at the power you can pack in such small item and for such a small cost. The same goes for the games, I mean, most of them are cheaper than my lunch!

So, thank you very much for supporting the Ouya on Kickstarter, allowing people like me to enjoy it. I'm sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. For me it really doesn't matter if the Ouya is "doomed" or not, I'm enjoying mine plenty anyway.

Re:I love my Ouya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45238057)

It's almost worth it just for XBMC. Having a small box like that, rather than a full fledged media PC, in the living room and able to play most formats I've thrown at it? Truly great.

Shared experiences (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#45232339)

Okay, so, this one time, I thought I was getting with this hot chick, but I was soooo wasted that I...

Oh, you had something specific in mind. Right.

Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | about 5 months ago | (#45232391)

Seems like a poor attempt at making a product with no market appear sexier than it is.

Re:Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232505)

that`s 0ne smart g0y!
from the metadata-masterthieves-in-the-middle-east, amd0cs, 0dig0, 0nav0 (akamai aint g0t n0 o`s innit), wouldn`t suprise 0ne if this "Redskin Indian" might also soon begin exporting jobs (and stolen userdata) to the israeli wormhole!
back to my underground vid of Guy Rosen and "E"-lie Gelman doing the dirty with Ju-lie Thurman and Scarlet Jochananssen!
SHHHHEKSSHIII!

Re:Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45232591)

That's what many (not all, but many) independent games developers call themselves, so I don't think you've got much of a right to object to the terminology.

Re:Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232605)

He doesn't have a right? What about freedom of speech, you fuckin' piece of shit!?

Re:Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45233013)

yeah even those who have hired several people, taken investment money from public fundraisings and use multi hundred million companies for distribution call themselves indie, by those criterias id-software is an indie company...... those used to be called studios and before that just game development companies.

you know what's also stupidly funny? indie record labels. indie record labels which are owned by universal etc.

Re:Really? "indie" is better than "independent" ? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#45233583)

BMC is buying their way into "craft" beer. Small business always looks cool, so either big business buys in to what on the surface might appear small; or a small company grows to the size where they are in danger of losing the "coolness" factor, so they try to fake it.

Snowden shot in Mosvow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232461)

Looking for shooter

Explain something to me: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232555)

If a Kickstarter is very sucessful, does it not mean that the majority of people interested in the project has already committed money to it? Thus, huge Kickstarter successes are less likely to do well financially after it is launched?

Re:Explain something to me: (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#45232603)

Probably in this case, but not necessarily in all cases. If your Kickstarter ends quickly then there's clearly a lot of pent up demand left to satisfy when you make it a retail product. However Ouya kept expanding its Kickstarter until, as you observe, it had completely mopped up all the available demand.

OUYA use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45232593)

I use my Ouya as a XBMC player, much beter then my raspi for that.
As for the games there might be a few gems in there but I havent found them.

Balked on Openness (2)

Kunedog (1033226) | about 5 months ago | (#45232717)

I decided to never buy one after I learned that the company didn't support a genuine end user recovery mode, and witnessed an Ouya employee (Al Sutton) berating and insulting the customers who insisted on one.

His attitude about custom firmware was shocking as well.

http://ouyaforum.com/showthread.php?3193-Let-OUYA-know-we-NEED-to-be-able-to-boot-to-recovery [ouyaforum.com]

I'm keeping a track of how many requests we get relating custom firmware, and from what I'm seeing the user base is not as interested in custom firmware as you might think, which is echoed by this thread (we've shipped 60,000+ units, and less than 10 people have commented in the last month in this thread about getting access to recovery mode).That doesn't mean that we're shooting the idea down, you need to keep in mind that in terms of priorities this is way down the list as you'd expect from any feature where it's being requested by less than one tenth of one percent of the user-base.

It really floored me to read this a week before Ouya's launch, given the kickstarter page's promises of hackability. Anyone with a reflashable phone (or any pretty much any other Android device whatsoever capable of using custom ROMS) knows that a real recovery mode is absolutely essential, in case the OS/kernel gets borked. Ouya's supposed "recovery mode" relies on an already-bootable OS, so it's useless.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 months ago | (#45233057)

Personally, All I really want as far as playing with different OSes is the ability to switch the primary boot device to an SD Card. I don't care if I can't mess around with the on-board storage, but there should be a switch, or some other easily accessible method (similarly to the PC BIOS menus) that I can just boot off a different device. You're right, there needs to be a way to fix things regardless of if the OS is broken. That way people can boot whichever OS they want, and they don't have to worry about messing up the hardwired ROM on the system. Also, it gives people a way to overwrite what's in the onboard ROM, in the case where it does get trashed, either by the user messing with it, or by an official upgrade that went bad.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#45234987)

Personally, All I really want as far as playing with different OSes is the ability to switch the primary boot device to an SD Card. I don't care if I can't mess around with the on-board storage, but there should be a switch, or some other easily accessible method (similarly to the PC BIOS menus) that I can just boot off a different device. You're right, there needs to be a way to fix things regardless of if the OS is broken. That way people can boot whichever OS they want, and they don't have to worry about messing up the hardwired ROM on the system. Also, it gives people a way to overwrite what's in the onboard ROM, in the case where it does get trashed, either by the user messing with it, or by an official upgrade that went bad.

That's a function of the SoC and the boot loaders - some SoCs only allow booting from one SD controller (i.e., eMMC), while others have a complex boot protocol where the various processors are started up in sequence.

And sometimes, you're just not allowed to distribute a recovery program (especially on well used SoCs) to prevent people from hacking other devices with it.

I wrote an SD recovery loader for a common SoC by a very common SoC vendor. I had to make changes to the boot loaders (there were about 4 or 5 of them) to support booting from SD (it could boot eMMC fine, but the code checked to ensure it didn't boot externally). And in the end, it was only an internal use - we wanted to distribute it to customers so they could recover the platforms, but were told we weren't allowed to.

And yes, a modern multicore SoC almost always has a boot protocol - what powers up out of reset first is almost always a management processor (usually a low powered ARM9 or ARM11 core) which boots the ROM code embedded in the SoC. That ROM code (which often can be used for recovery, but again, SoC companies control the tools used to recover and provision a device from ROM which allows one to manufacture a board and program it without needing JTAG) loads a block or two out of eMMC or other storage, verifies the signature, and boots that (usually from SRAM). That bootloader (usually restricted In size) initializes main memory and loads another bootloader out of storage into RAM. It also then sets up the first core of the big ARM cluster to boot from that location in RAM, and takes the first core out of reset. That loader loads even more code off storage to boot the OS.

Unlike a PC which boots off onboard storage for the BIOS then boots off external (hard drive/SSD) storage, SoCs and other embedded devices combine the bootloaders and OS in the same storage media, so it's possible to overwrite the entire thing by accident. And SoC vendors rarely let non-NDA'd people get at their tools.

Now, eMMC does have a mode that's generally not accessible once booted - every eMMC chip has one or two "boot partitions" which are special areas of the chip (you need to issue special commands to get at it) where the bootloader can be stored. The boot ROM issues the necessary commands to switch to the boot partition and loads the binary code from that. Then before jumping into the OS loader, the final bootloader switches the eMMC back to user mode (or not - issuing the initialization sequence resets the chip back to normal mode).

The problem is that no card reader supports such modes, so you need to develop a loader to load it onto the chip directly, you can't use SD cards for development (they don't support the mode - it's an eMMC requirement), and provisioning is just a bit harder since you can't usually mass-program the chips beforehand.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45237375)

isn't that irrelevant if they would make the bootloader boot up the os from either internal or from sd? but since they want a closed device with an os that asks for cc number when you set it up.....

Flash doesn't stay charged forever.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45238507)

So ideally you would be capable of reflashing the bootloader partition every ten years or so to ensure data integrity. If there's no way for the end user to do so, then it doesn't matter if the OS partition is functional and up to date. Once a few errors creep into the boot flash the whole system is as good as bricked.

It's one of the major concerns for me in regards to modern technology. So much of it will be basically unrepairable/unmaintainable in the future because nobody will have access to all the 'hidden' firmware on a modern piece of technology, and due to the ndas and copyright and such, almost nobody will be able to get ahold of the documentation to repair systems from such a state, possibly not even digital historians.

Re:Balked on Openness (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 months ago | (#45233241)

Without wishing to go overboard on defending the company (I'm yet to be convinced by their console and would agree with you on recoery mode), is their attitude on custom firmware really "shocking"? I mean, my interpretation of that quotation is:

"We're not ruling it out, but we have finite time, finite resources and a lot of other things to focus on. Custom firmware is something that matters an awful lot to a very small number of people. We'll get around to it when we can, but it probably won't be any time soon."

Which is probably a fair enough comment, given we are not talking about some vast multinational company here.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45233417)

I think the it wouldn't be surprising if they didn't promote "hackability" as a selling point. I don't care that my xbox isn't hackable: no one ever claimed it was. But when you tell me that something is user modifiable, I expect it to be rather easy to do and have the needed support to restore back to original software.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#45234293)

It's not surprising, but it is bait and switch. They promised openness and hackability and delivered neither. Their APIs are open, and they are being deprecated by Google forthwith so whoopdeeshit.

Re:Balked on Openness (1)

Kunedog (1033226) | about 6 months ago | (#45242091)

Which is probably a fair enough comment, given we are not talking about some vast multinational company here.

But compare it to the Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ouya/ouya-a-new-kind-of-video-game-console [kickstarter.com]

Hackers welcome. Have at it: It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!

After people began calling Al Sutton out over this, he made things even worse by implying that root access was a priviledge and Ouya hadn't promised much of anything (instead attempting to compare the console's openness to that of consoles you can buy at Gamestop).

As for "Open"; Well, a year or so ago the idea of going into a gaming centric store like GameStop or Game, buying a console, taking it home, writing a game on it, and publishing it without spending big money on development kits, licensing, and the like was pretty much non-existant. That's where OUYA is open; It's open to anyone to write games and apps without having to pay dev kit and licensing fees, it's open in that once you have your console you can code for it.
The reason you can still simply get root access is that I've seen people want to tinker beyond what most users would do. OUYA could stick to what was originally put on the Kickstarter page and take away root from non-devkits, but I, for one, would be against that, because I've seen that people do use it constructively and responsibly, and not everyone bricks their device then raises a support ticket to try and get OUYA to fix it.

So yes, I'll stick to calling it "shocking."

PS. A functioning non-OS-dependant recovery mode isn't just important for hackers. It could also be the difference between a faulty official update merely inconveniencing you, or outright bricking your console.

Can the Ouya play games? (3, Interesting)

the_arrow (171557) | about 5 months ago | (#45232735)

I installed XBMC on mine, and been using it exclusively as a HTPC.

Been thinking about installing MAME or something similar though, but so far I haven't played a single game on mine.

Oh and by the way, even with good ventilation, it gets hot!

Re:Can the Ouya play games? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 months ago | (#45233531)

The Final Fantasy 3 remake is about the only really good game I've found. I didn't get into Final Fantasy until Final Fantasy 8. I was able to go back and play FF7 but anything older than that I could never tolerate graphically. This remake is worthwhile. Of course it's also available on PS Vita and Nintendo DS, but I'm not much of a mobile gamer.

Of course, PS Vita TV is also supposed to be roughly $99 when it launches in a few weeks too (Japan only for now though), and due to it sharing most of the library with the regular PS Vita I think it may do much better as a cheap gaming box.

Sales? (4, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | about 5 months ago | (#45232791)

Sales are far from stellar?

Therefore we should immediately shut the company down, fire everyone, confiscate all Ouyas, sue them for the money they raised through crowdfunding, bulldoze the building, clear everything away but the dirt, churn saltwater into the ground, fence it off with biohazard signs and cement it over with six feet of pig iron, broken rock and mortar.

You are not allowed to be anything but a five-time Super Bowl champion. Anything less and you should be exiled forever and your name erased from the history books, you fucking loser.

Wall Street will only tolerate two companies in every market (except banks, then you can have five). If you're not one of those companies, you will always be portrayed as "not quite Ivy league" in the media until you go out of business. If you stick around long enough, one of your C-level people will be found in a hotel room fucking a chimpanzee.

Apple and Microsoft, iOS and Android, Google and Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, Wal-Mart and Target, Verizon and AT&T, Disney and Dreamworks, Mattel and Hasbro, and so forth. It's about monopoly profits. Not free markets.

This country and society have become so obsessed with sour, angry greed. It's sickening.

Re:Sales? (1, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 5 months ago | (#45233137)

Yes, damn those pesky independent game developers who really would quite like it if they could make a living by selling their games. The blood-sucking parasites who put time into making games and then sickeningly say they'd like to focus their attention on the platforms where their sales might actually let them break even. The absolute epitome of sour, angry greed, aren't they?

Congratulations - you win the "Angry Communist Fuckwit of the Week" award. On slashdot, that's quite an accolade.

Re:Sales? (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 5 months ago | (#45239017)

If you'll lean waaaaaay back and use your binoculars you might see the point as it sails past.

Re:Sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45240195)

Oh, I'm pretty sure he got your point. The thing is, your point was dumb and deserved to be mocked the way RogueyWon did. Nobody's saying "Ouya delenda est" because it fails to meet unreasonable standards of perfection. Critics are saying that Ouya is not merely slightly imperfect, it's been riddled with fatally incompetent planning, execution, and marketing from start to finish. Because, you know, it has been! Even if the ideas behind the Ouya are sound, they haven't gotten a fair shake in the marketplace thanks to the numbskulls running the company.

TFA is about third party developers who have released games on Ouya, and are sharing their views on the platform. You flew off the handle because these tiny businesses (often 1-person operations) dared to report that they are unable to survive in the Ouya ecosystem, and started slinging around accusations of greedy fat-cat industry giants keeping the little guy down.

Don't be discouraged, though. Keep it up. The unintentional comedy meter is in smoking ruins! The sweet nectar of your delusional-fanboy tears nourishes us.

Re:Sales? (-1, Flamebait)

The Cat (19816) | about 6 months ago | (#45241621)

I don't give a fuck about the Ouya, jackass.

But I've been on the Internet long enough to recognize FUD when I see it.

Apparently you haven't. So why don't you go back to humping your SonyMicrosoftAppleGoogle inflatable doll?

Re:Sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45234151)

I was amused by your comment so I decided to click on The Cat (19816) and discovered a bile milk shake of piss and vinegar. I would like to see your strong negative opinions of everything that everyone is doing wrong, rewritten to champion all your righteous wisdom with positive expression in a format such as a TED talk. If your ideas are not cohesive enough to express constructively then perhaps stop throwing around words like "cunt."

Google is going to eat Ouya's lunch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45233105)

...and its dinner too!

Seriously though, although they had a good start, they needed a quick exit. A third-party Android-based gaming console with its own store was never going to survive, especially when it becomes trivial for the two-tonne elephant to sit on you.

It's a pretty common mistake though for new startups to tackle an established market in the name of 'disruption' and when they get a little traction they become the definition of hubris, thinking they'll be the Next Big Thing. Hopefully they can find a buyer before its too late.

My Ouya (4, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 months ago | (#45233469)

I recently bought an Ouya myself. Having looked at the system for a bit its not really THAT bad, but you have to go into it knowing the limitations. It's not an Xbox or a Playstation. Its basically a toy for tablet level games but just gives you a way to play them with a controller (which despite the explosion of tablet/mobile games is still a better way to play many things).

The only real games I've used mine for have been Final Fantasy III and emulating consoles. It has worked well for that.

Considering that my original motivation was that I wanted another XBMC box and setting up another Raspberry Pi would have been around $75 (with case, remote, power, etc), I figured that the extra $25 to have a basic "console" wasn't bad. I certainly won't be tossing out my "real" game systems any time soon though.

Re:My Ouya (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45235029)

I absolutely love mine for XBMC, Crunchy Roll, Plex, and VLC. I know they aren't games, but I would rather watch my videos on my TV. I use XBMC video addons to watch all my shows on Penny Arcade TV, Retroware TV, TED Talks, etc. from the comfort of my couch.

Good for indies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45235413)

Ouya is good for indies : No membership fee, No 'Greenlight', a *free* QA on your submitted games : They are not just testing if the app is stable, they test the whole game, find bug in the menus, etc.. : It worth a 1000$ Q/A from a professional testing company. To me, the plan is to ship on Ouya, get QAed, and release on other platforms afterwards. So long life to Ouya!

Re:Good for indies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45240231)

Ouya is good for indies : No membership fee, No 'Greenlight', a *free* QA on your submitted games : They are not just testing if the app is stable, they test the whole game, find bug in the menus, etc.. : It worth a 1000$ Q/A from a professional testing company. To me, the plan is to ship on Ouya, get QAed, and release on other platforms afterwards. So long life to Ouya!

Ahahahahaha, free Ouya "QA" is as good as a $1000 QA from a professional company? Good luck with that. They're gonna check to make sure it's possible to begin playing, and not much else. They can't even competently QA their own software, what makes you think they'll do better on yours?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...